MS Dhoni and Rohit Sharma with the IPL trophy (Credits: Twitter)

The thirteenth edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) is reportedly set to be played in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). IPL 2020 was scheduled to take place between March 29 and May 17 but the BCCI had to suspend the league indefinitely in the light of the coronavirus pandemic.

The board, however, has made it clear that conducting the IPL this year remains its topmost priority. Earlier, BCCI president Sourav Ganguly had said the board would have to incur a loss of around Rs. 4000 crore if IPL does not take place due to the pandemic.

IPL, IPL 2020, Closed Doors, Government
IPL Trophy. Photo by: Deepak Malik /SPORTZPICS for BCCI

IPL to take place in UAE:

According to Outlook, IPL franchise owners met earlier this week and they had no qualms in the IPL going overseas this year. The report also stated that the BCCI is looking at a September-November window. Ganguly had previously said that while hosting IPL in India remains the priority, the board would not hesitate in moving outside the country if the situation does not improve.

What further brightens up the chances of IPL taking place in September-October is that the T20 Cricket World Cup is going to be cancelled. The Asia Cup, which was scheduled to take place in September, has already been postponed. All eyes are now on ICC as they are likely to postpone the T20 World Cup too. The news outlet further stated that a source privy to developments in Australia, said the cancellation of the marquee event is only “a matter of time.”

Given Coronavirus protocols, matches in the UAE will be held in front of empty stadiums. “That’s not a problem. IPL is more made for TV and the gate receipts will not be as much even if the crowds come in,” a team owner was quoted as saying in the report.

The Middle East country suits BCCI as a venue. Stadiums in Dubai, Sharjah and Abu Dhabi are not far from each other and there is enough infrastructure available to accommodate players, officials and broadcast officials. IPL teams are expected to arrive in the UAE a month before the tournament starts.

“We need a month to prepare but our overseas players will be ready to play,” said a team owner.

Conducting IPL in UAE is nothing new for BCCI. In 2014, a part of the tournament was held in UAE due to general elections. In 2009, the entire competition was held in South Africa due to general elections.

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